Lot 56: Civil War–dated ALS signed "U. S. Grant, Maj. Gen.," one page, 5 x 8, February 27, 1863. Letter to General James B. McPherson. In full: "Come down here as soon as you can. Order before starting that the work of cutting down all the timbers in the channel of Bayou Baxter be prosecuted with all dispatch. I want to have the water let into Lake Providence before there is much fall." In fine condition.
Written during the Vicksburg Campaign, this letter specifically concerns the Lake Providence Expedition of Grant's Bayou Operations. Hoping to construct and use alternative waterways to position troops within striking distance of Vicksburg, Grant put McPherson in charge of building a canal from the Mississippi River to Lake Providence. They built levees to hold back water while digging, and at this stage the canal ditches were essentially complete and levees ready to be blown to flood them. The levees were destroyed about a week after Grant wrote this letter, but the depth of the water was still not sufficient for large vessels to transport masses of troops. Despite its underwhelming result, the Lake Providence Expedition was the only one of Grant's Bayou Operations to successfully bypass the Vicksburg defenses.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 471
Wednesday, 9th March 2016
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